Thursday, January 27, 2011

My little Math Whiz

It's time for a little parent bragging. Who knows if I'm biased or what, but I think Luke is turning out to be a little math whiz. (I absolutely love Math and Science - I know this makes some people gag, but I love math and numbers and logic. Moving on. . .)
Over the past few months Luke will just bust out a little math problem (ie: 6 + 6 = 12). Matt and I aren't ever sure if he just remembers because someone told him or if he figured it out on his own. It surprises us sometimes because he's never done preschool and he just started kindergarten this year. Most kids are just learning to count let alone add.
Well, today while I was making sandwiches for lunch Luke was counting his money in his piggy bank. After a little while he comes up to the counter and says 9 + 9 = 18. I told him that was right and asked how he knew that. I was expecting him to say that someone told him, but no. This is what he says:
" Well, 9 is less than 10. 10+10=20 and 10+9 equals 19 so 9+9=18."
Seriously? There are adults who can't reason and deduce like that but my little 5 year old has figured it out on his own. I'm so proud of my little math whiz.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Honest Effort

Today is one of "those" days. It's not a terrible or horrible day. It's not ALL bad. Just a little frustrating at the moment. I do realize that most of my frustration is stemming from the craziness of my out-of-control almost 2-year-old - he is strapped in at the kitchen table sceraming right now. I guess he finished his lunch. (Over the past few months I've mentioned to Matt a couple times that I think Luke was just a warm-up compared to what Seth is going to challenge us with. To understand the magnitude of that - you have to know how much Luke kept us on our toes.)
Anyway - back to the story of my day so far. My husband went to the temple this morning which with the hour drive each way means he's basically gone for a good 4-5 hours. Not a big deal. Didn't have a ton planned for the day. Or so I thought. I was going to head to the gym after dropping kids off at school and just work out on my own. But before going to the gym I saw that a friend was going to an activity called music makers (a mom and toddler activity). People have been telling me I should go since I moved here - but I like to spend my mornings at the gym. So last minute I decided I would finally go. It's right around the corner from the gym. So I decided to do a short workout and try out Music makers. So to start off, I only get a 25 minute workout in instead of my usual hour. Not a big deal cuz I'm going to something fun with Seth. Pull up to the church where they have music makers and see a Hearst. Music makers is canceled because of a funeral. Alright then. I'm a little bummed but no big deal. I'll try again another time.
Next I go home and get cleaned up. I decide I'll ship something to my sister that she's asked to borrow. So I get all that put together and load up the car and go get Luke from school. I take Luke and Seth with me to the post office thinking this will be quick and easy. None of the regular priority mail boxes will fit. So I buy a box and some bubble wrap and figure I'll try sending it priority and use the Post Office tape instead of having to buy tape as well. Stupid mistake on my part. So as I'm trying to get the package all put together and taped up, seth and Luke are running wild around the post office. Seth is squealing and shrieking and pulling cards and envelopes off the display while Luke is playing with the doors. I'm so embarrassed but torn. Should I grab my kids and try to get them to sit and extend this whole situation or just get it packed as fast as I can so I can get out of there. Once I get it taped up and labeled I grab Seth and Luke and get on line to ship the package. The lady weighs it and says it's gonna cost $45 to ship!! Yeah right! She suggested I use the actual priority flat rate box. Uh, Lady. I would've if I could've. This thing won't fit in that. (during all this Seth is screaming trying to get out of my arms. - does she really want to have a conversation with me?) So I pay for the box and bubble wrap and get out of there as fast as I can. (Sorry sis. I tried) I'm so embarrassed at the way my kids were acting. Seth should be napping, but it being a Wednesday and California schools being annoying Maya gets out early every Wednesday (I don't get the school systems here) So I have to keep Seth up until after I pick Maya up on Wednesdays so he can get a decent nap. It just means an extra hour and a half of craziness.
So, I tried. I've put in an honest effort today. And with all that effort I feel I've accomplished nothing. . .well I did get to change a poopy diaper. That's something right???

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Forgot how much I love the snow

On Thursday (12-30-2010) Matt woke up and prepared to take the kids up to Tahoe to do some snowtubing. The kids have been asking and asking for weeks to go see the snow once they learned we could drive there. So Matt wakes up and starts getting things ready. The only problem is - we haven't been anywhere near snow in 3 years and that was just for a short visit to Utah for a wedding. So the kids don't have snow boots or any proper snow clothes. They do have some nice heavy coats. So we layer them up. Sweats under their jeans, double up on socks. We find old scarves and squeeze on old hats. We borrow some gloves for the kids from our neighbors. Pack a change of clothes and shoes for the ride home. I planned on staying home with Seth. A 1-year-old for a 2-3 hour car ride doesn't sound like fun and he'd probably be cold and miserable. But I was feeling so bummed about being apart for the whole day that at the last minute before Matt was about to leave, I start throwing stuff in the car for Seth and I. Luckily for Seth we had Luke's old winter clothes including snowboots.

So we all hopped in the car together and made a day trip of it. I was just happy to be all together. The drive up was fun. About an 1 1/2 to 2 hours into the trip you start to see a dusting of snow on the ground and then within 10 - 15 more minutes the snow's a few feet deep. Pretty cool. Maya and Luke were so excited! I wish I would've taken some pictures of the mountains because it was really beautiful. It is kind of crazy (and great) that you can hop in the car and drive from a place that's nice and mild and be in a winter wonderland within 2 hours. We were planning on driving to a park all the way in North Lake Tahoe (which would've been a good 3 hour drive) but we found a great place to stop a little over 2 hours into the trip. It was called Cisco Grove. The only reason we found it is that the highway traffic was slowing down because of snow conditions. It would've taken a LONG time to get to Tahoe. So we pulled off at Cisco Grove and followed the signs to snowtubing. There was a national park right off the highway. It was only $10 to park and there were 20 miles of paths that we could take and tube any where. Totally worth it.

So we parked and started getting everyone layered up. Matt and I are lucky because adults stay the same size so our old winter stuff still fit.

Maya and Luke were so excited to start playing in the snow. They headed to the edge of the parking lot and climbed into the snow while Matt and I got Seth ready. Since Luke had a couple of hoods we gave Luke's hat to Seth .

Once Seth found the snow and ice, he did not want to be picked up. He couldn't get enough. He had a big old smile on his face the whole time, and you know what - so did I. I forgot how much I like the snow. I really don't like cold weather. I'm a summer girl at heart. But if there's snow, my tune changes. I don't mind the cold as long as there is snow.

We walked a little way up the path with our tubes and found some hills to slide down. Seth loved it. Even if a little snow got on his face, we'd brush it off and ask if he wanted to do it again. He'd excitedly say "Yea". And as soon as we'd ride down the hill he'd immediately say "gen" (again).

So with all the excitement and begging from Maya and Luke, and Seth and I almost staying home because I thought Seth would be miserable - turns out Seth lasted the longest of all the kids. Maya and Luke pretty quickly in were complaining about being cold. I couldn't even get Maya to smile for the picture below.

So for next time, we will be more prepared with nice warm snow clothes for the kids. I cna't blame them for complaining, their sneakers and pants can't hold up to the snow very well. They were crying as we changed them into dry clothes and wrapped them in blankets in the car. Seth was asleep within minutes.

The biggest downer was the car ride home. The first hour we made great time. But then we hit major traffic and only went 10 miles in an hour - painful! So instead of the ride home taking a little over 2 hours, it was closer to 4 - with tired, cranky, hungry kids. Next time we'll find a fun place to stay and do an overnighter so we can tube and then come and warm up with hot chocolate and then go out and tube some more.

The week before Christmas

The Monday before Christmas we took a little trip to Madera to visit some family. It's always a blast visiting Uncle Alan and Aunt Gina. I don't know if the kids like jumping on Uncle Alan or playing the Wii more, but either way it's a good time.
One morning there my niece saw a whole bunch of fire trucks and police motorcycles by the firehouse. Something was up and we figured Santa was involved so we decided to check it out. They had headed over to the Children's Hospital to visit the kids there. Maya and Luke had a whole lot of fun checking out the fire truck and talking to the firemen. Santa was even hanging out there and the kids got to say hi.

After checking out the truck we headed into the main lobby of the hospital where Smokey the bear and Sparky the Dalmation were hanging out. Smokey the Bear wouldn't take no for an answer from my sister-in-law and chased her around until he got a hug.

We made lots of goodies, survived the holiday rush at the mall, and stayed up way too late talking - happens every visit. It's so nice to be close to family, especially to visit during the holiday - helped make it feel a little more like Christmas.

We got home late Wednesday and got ourselves ready for a party with friends the next day. Christmas eve was just our little family. We played games, read the Christmas story and sang Christmas carols. Then we all snuggled together and watched a Christmas movie or two with the kids. Then it was time to get ready for Santa to come. The kids didn't want to stay up too late (and they didn't want Mom and Dad to stay up too late either) because they know that Santa won't come until everyone is asleep. So we set up some milk and cookies for Santa and some snacks for the reindeer and tucked the kids into bed. Matt and I stayed up a little longer so I could watch "It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time - fun movie.

Maya came down at 4 am (I told her she couldn't leave her room until then and she couldn't wake us up until 7am) and set up a little bed on the couch next to the tree. I remember doing that as a kid. So magical and so exciting. The reindeer left some tracks and a little mess in our entryway, but that's ok.
All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. The only damper was Matt and I had to prepare our talks that we were asked to give in Church the next day, so instead of getting to relax and play with all the fun new toys, I was stressing over preparing my talk. It went well, and it was so nice to come home from church and finally feel relaxed. I even fell asleep on the couch and took a long nap (and I don't take naps).

The Kids